I don’t know about you, but I always crave happy hour drinks in summer.
Therefore, I always have a bottle of Lillet on hand. I also love gin and rosé, but lately, Lillet Blanc has been my go-to drink.
I used to occasionally drink Lillet a few years back, but I guess I never realized how good it actually is till recently. It is currently a must-have in my collection.
What is Lillet Blanc?
Lillet Blanc is a French aromatized wine. Manufacturers make it using white grapes from Bordeaux and flavor it with spices, herbs, and citrus. It is then fortified.
Lillet Blanc was introduced in the market in the year 1887. Since then, it has been famous for its unique taste.
The original formula contained quinine which made it a bit bitter, but it was removed in 1985. The current version is less bitter compared to the older version.
I would describe the taste of Lillet Blanc as slightly bitter with hints of spring flowers, honey, and orange.
How to enjoy Lillet
There are various ways to enjoy Lillet Blanc. You can sip it on its own, or on the rocks. I like topping mine off with a little bit of tonic or club soda. If you are extra like me, add a wedge of orange or lemon, just because you can.
If you are having gin and tonic and want your drink to have an extra kick, you can top it off with Lillet Blanc. You can also add a little bit of Lillet Blanc to your sparkling wine for that extra flavor.
Lillet Blanc is also a great ingredient with cocktails. I’ll share some of my favorite Lillet Blac cocktails with you.
Drinks you can make using Lillet Blanc
Here are some drinks you can make using Lillet Blanc. They are perfect for sipping outdoors before dinner.
This drink is very easy to put together. All you need is vodka, gin, Lillet, and a lemon peel to garnish. Here is how to prepare it.
In a mixing glass, add some ice then pour in one ounce of vodka, one ounce of gin, and one ounce of Lillet. Add a dash of orange bitters for extra flavor (this is optional).
Stir the mixture well until all the ingredients are completely combined and strain it into your martini glass. Use the lemon peel to garnish the drink and enjoy. Pretty simple, right?
- Rising Star
Rising star is a very popular Lillet Blanc cocktail. All you need is the Lillet Blanc, vodka, grape juice, and a star fruit slice to garnish.
Add some ice to a cocktail shaker and then pour in the vodka, Lillet Blanc, and grape juice. Shake the ingredients well so that they combine completely and become properly chilled. Once completely combined, strain it into a cocktail glass.
Use the starfruit slice as a garnish and enjoy!
- Sunday in the Park
Sunday in the park is without question one of my favorite cocktails. You can make it using one and a half ounce of Lillet Blanc, one ounce of lemon juice, one and a half ounce of bourbon, simple syrup, and a dash of Angostura bitters.
These ingredients give the cocktail a herbal flavor and citric essence.
Pour all the ingredients into a mixing glass and shake well. Once completely combined, strain it into a cocktail glass and add fresh ice on top. Garnish the drink with thyme and enjoy!
- French Connection
If you are a sucker for sweet cocktails that have caramel notes, this cocktail is exactly what you should make. You’ll need an ounce of cognac, one ounce of Lillet Blanc, a dash of orange bitters, a dash of Angostura, and honey syrup.
In a mixing add all the ingredients and stir until all the ingredients are completely combined.
Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and garnish it with an orange peel. Enjoy this sweet cocktail before dinner.
- Old Etonian
This another of my favorite cocktail that features Lillet Blanc. You’ll need one and a half ounce of Lillet blanc, 1/12 ounce of gin, two dashes of orange bitters, and two dashes of crème de Noyaux to make it.
Add some ice to a cocktail shaker and then pour in all the ingredients. Shake the ingredients well so that they combine completely and become properly chilled. Strain the cocktail into a stemmed cocktail glass and enjoy!
What to use when you run out of Lillet Blanc
In case you are in the mood for some Lillet Blanc but don’t have any in the house, there is no need to panic. There are several drinks that you can use in their place.
L’Avion d’Or, Cocchi Americana, Swedish Punsch, sweet white vermouth, reserve Jean De Lillet, and Amaro Angeleno are suitable Lillet Blanc substitutes.
You may not be able to tell the difference between them and Lillet Blanc when you add them to your recipe. Let us discuss these amazing substitutes in detail.
Lillet Blanc substitutes
- L’Avion d’Or
Just like Lillet Blanc, L’Avion d’Or is a French aperitif. It is normally classified as Kina. Initially, L’Avion d’Or was invented to help doctors and nurses to administer quinine to soldiers that were sick. New varieties have since been developed.
L’Avion d’Or is made by mixing white wine with orange peel, cinchona bark, and wormwood.
The end result is a complex drink that is slightly bitter. This drink has a pleasant marmalade aroma. It can be drunk on its own or used as a cocktail ingredient.
Compared to lillet Blanc, L’Avion d’Or is quite bitter. Keep this in mind when you decide to use it as a lillet Blanc alternative.
- Cocchi Americana
Cocchi Americana is similar to Lillet Blanc in many ways. It is arguably the best substitute for Lillet Blanc.
Cocchi Americana is a very popular Italian aperitif. Manufacturers make it by mixing Moscato wine with other ingredients including orange peel, gentian root, cinchona bark, and other herbs and spices.
I would describe the taste of this drink as slightly sweet with a herbal overtone. It will also give you a hint of bitterness. Compared to Lillet Blanc, Cocchi Americana is more bitter. Always keep this in mind when you use it as a substitute.
Substitute Lillet Blanc with Cocchi Americana when making the vesper cocktail. It will add a citrus flavor to the cocktail and make it slightly bitter.
I particularly love this substitute because it is readily available. In case you do not feel like leaving the house, you can buy it online. Several vendors stock it.
- Swedish Punsch
You can substitute Lillet Blanch with Swedish Punsch. Swedish Punsch is a popular liqueur.
Contrary to what most people think, it is not the same as the traditional punch that they enjoy at parties. Swedish Punsch is popular throughout Finland and Sweden.
There are several brands of this Punsch available in the market. The flavor tends to vary depending on the brand you choose, but most have a sweet taste with spicy notes.
You can enjoy Swedish Punsch on its own over ice or add it to your cocktails.
- Sweet white vermouth
Sweet white vermouth is a great lillet blanc replacement. It is readily available and manufacturers make it by infusing white wine with botanicals. They then fortify it using unaged brandy or any other high proof alcohol.
As the name suggests, sweet white vermouth has a sweet flavor. There are a few brands that add other ingredients to give it a bittersweet flavor with floral notes.
You can enjoy sweet white vermouth on the rocks or add it to your gin and tonic for the perfect drink.
- Reserve Jean De Lillet
Reserve Jean De Lillet is a limited release product. If you are lucky enough to get it, you can use it as an alternative to Lillet Blanc.
Reserve Jean De Lillet is a French aperitif. It has a bitter flavor as a result of being aged with cinchona bark or orange peels.
I highly recommend using this substitute when making cocktails like vesper. The results will be amazing.
- Amaro Angeleno
If you want a substitute that has orange ad floral notes, I suggest you try using Amaro Angeleno. It is made using unaged brandy and Pinot Grigio. Manufacturers also infuse it with herbs like verbena, thyme, and gentian. The drink also contains citrus.
Amero Angeleno is popular in the United States because it is manufactured in Los Angeles. In terms of flavor, it has floral notes with a bitter after taste.
You can substitute it with Amaro Angeleno when making lillet blanc cocktails.
St. Germain is a French liqueur that you can easily find in well-stocked liquor stores all over the world. It is much sweeter compared to Lillet Blanc.
Therefore, if you do not like the bitter flavor that Lillet Blanc offers, this would be the ideal substitute for you.
You can drink St. Germain on its own or use it in cocktail recipes that call for Lillet Blanc.
There is no need to panic when you run out of Lillet Blanc. Use any of the above substitutes and let me know how your cocktails turn out.
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